The Milpitas City Council has delayed lifting its last restrictions on water use since California declared a state of emergency because of drought four years ago.
After lengthy discussion on Tuesday, council kept in place a voluntary 10 percent reduction in water usage and four-day schedule for lawn watering, and said it would revisit the rule in the spring. The Citizens Task Force on Water Rates had recommended council end those limits.
“I’m thinking that waiting a few months until we see what’s going on … is going to be more beneficial to our community than making a snap decision tonight,” Vice Mayor Marsha Grilli said. Rather than voting on an ordinance that would fail, the council decided to take no action. Mayor Rich Tran and Councilman Garry Barbadillo suggested they would have supported ending the limits.
During the drought, one of Milpitas’s water providers — the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission — waived its minimum usage requirements. That allowed the city to pay only for the amount of water it ended up using from them. (SFPUC provides roughly two-thirds of the water in Milpitas, with the Santa Clara Valley Water District providing the rest.)
Now that the city must pay for at least a certain amount of water from SFPUC, it doesn’t make economic sense to impose any sort of limitations, said Tony Ndah, who was named Public Works Department director on Tuesday.
But Richard Santos, a director of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, cautioned the council that it was too soon to say whether lifting the restrictions would be a good idea from an environmental standpoint.
“I think it’s premature,” Santos said. “I would hope you would wait until around April or May to get more statistics.”
In April 2017, Gov. Jerry Brown ended the drought state of emergency for most counties.
As a result, …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Politics